Francisco Bezanilla

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, The University of Chicago

The Bezanilla lab has been dedicated to the understanding of the molecular events in voltage gating of ion channels. This has been done using a combination of electrophysiological techniques (which include macroscopic currents, gating currents, noise analysis and single channel recordings) and the use of fluorescence spectroscopy to correlate the electrical events with conformational changes. As both electrical and optical methods have very high time resolution and do not require a large number of molecules (even possible with single molecule), in this lab the electrical and optical measurements are done simultaneously in live systems (oocytes, cells) or reconstituted proteins in liposomes thus allowing a direct correlation of structural changes and function.